Nikita and Shania interviews Toby Gorniak
Toby is a Polish Romany Gypsy, whose family moved to England when he was a teenager due to persecution in Poland. Toby is now a professional hip-hop dancer.
List of questions, with timings
0 sec. Did you ever had any horses or dogs?
Dogs, yes. Horses, no. I always dreamed of having a horse. I used to ride at a farm.
26 sec. If there was ever one mistake in your life would it be not being able to own that horse?
Yes, not having that part of the culture. As a Romany Gypsy I feel we are connected to that.
55 sec. Do you have any pets?
I have 6 kids. That’s enough for me. My children want pets, a pomski, but I said no, I know I’ll be running around after it. When they are older.
1 min 21sec. Who does your hair?
My wife does my hair every day, and everyday she does something different.
1min 36 sec. Does she like doing your hair?
Yes, we get up half an hour early, have a cup of tea, some breakfast, she does my hair, then the kids get up.
1min.47sec. Do your children get bullied for being a Gypsy?
No, they are very lucky. I’ve taught them to be proud and honest. All their friends want to be Gypsy. It helps that I am a little bit famous in our city, so to other children their dad is famous and a Gypsy. It’s a positive spin on it.
2min 37sec. How did you feel when you got bullied?
Terrible. It was one of the worse things than can happen. Being a Gypsy teaches you to be aware of other people. My Gran taught me that being a Gypsy means being a human. A Gypsy would never see another human beaten or embarrassed or belittled, it’s against us inside as we know what persecution is like. It’s one of the greatest things my Gran taught me.
3min 23sec. Do your children dance?
All my children dance, sing, act, draw, do gymnastics. They do what they want, what makes them happy. My 16 year old wanted to leave school, but didn’t know what to do. So I suggested he go travelling, I can ring all my family, each month he can go to a different country, see the world, experience life, then decide what he wants to do.
4 min 13sec. Do any of your children do horse riding?
Not yet, but they are starting next month. My little daughter Lillian, one of the twins wants to learn.
4min 52sec. Do you believe in God?
Yes. God is very important to me. I had a little moment, when I lost a dear friend, so I didn’t believe for 2years, but then I made peace, forgive and forget.
5 min 18sec. Do you have rosary beads?
Yes, I have lots. They are important to me, I wear them all the time. I have some specially made sets for me.
5 min 47 sec. Is life different back then to now?
Massively. If you lived back then, you’d cry every day. Sometimes you think your life is difficult now, but then it was terrible, horrifying. It is a lot better. It doesn’t mean it is fair. Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to be here. You look around the world at other Gypsies and Romanies they’ve got it really tough.
6 min 42sec Do you have any brothers or sisters?
3 brothers, 2 sisters, who are all over the world.